Like father like daughter

Posted on October 19, 2011


A run earlier this week started off in very different spirits than it ended. From 6-9am, I was all smiles but by the final stretch, my vision was skewed by sweat induced tears welling up beyond my control.

I had been out for a few hours, running strong, feeling strong and loving the cooler air that the onset of winter in Dubai brings … and then I hit a bit of a wall. I slowed to a brisk walk, got out my phone and called my dad.  Expecting a weekly catch up, he announced that he’s decided to withdraw from Racing the Planet Nepal.

We signed up last summer.  I had just returned to Hong Kong from dragon boat racing at the World Crew Champs in Macau and was spending my days trying to rest but instead, throwing all my energy into those all important shopping sprees that Hong Kong is so loved for.

Our conversation over dinner turned to the endurance events organised by Racing the Planet, three of which – Sahara, Atacama and Gobi – my dad has done. He brought up the roving event for 2011 – planned for Nepal and no sooner that the words were aired, I knew I had to do it.  I love Nepal … I love the mountains … I love to run … and events shared in the past with my dad will forever be captured in my box of very special memories.

His reasons for withdrawal are various.  I guess they simply boil down to life getting in the way.  A physical niggle here, an occasional health threat there, the incessant demands on the time of a very successful businessman and the subsequent compromise to training plans … all combined and suddenly you have reasons that stack against you.

Once I dried the tears, I realised that feeling sad and disappointed that we shall no longer compete together is fruitless. And I reminded myself that sometimes it takes great courage to walk away, to realise that the race isn’t right for you after all and that the bigger picture must always come before the smaller frame. My dad has so far lived an extraordinary life of physical, commercial and personal achievements and I have no doubt there exist many more in the pipeline.

Withdrawing from this race is no sort of failure or setback, no reason to shed tears. Instead, I plan to go and give 110% for us both.

And I know that when I hit lows … when my legs are burning, my lungs are screaming and I struggle to take just one more step … I shall think of my dad and  know I’ll find the strength to go on.

And similarly, when I hit highs … when I can see a checkpoint or camp … and when I see the finishing flags … again, I shall think of my dad and know that thanks to his support, physically, mentally and emotionally (never mind financially!) that I am there.

He might not continue to embark on the crazy adventures that I love but it is because of him that I am the person I am.  It is because of him, that  I have the ongoing motivation and dedication to train. And because of him that I put my all into everything that I do and that I believe in grasping life with both hands and being the best possible being that I can be.

So thank you dad … you will in fact, be with me every step of the way.


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